Clinical Negligence can be extremely serious when it comes to the quality of life of any patient. For small wounds it may not have serious consequences, however a surgery or medical misdiagnosis can have a life changing effect. If this has happened to you then you may be considering how you can claim compensation for your misdiagnosis. These type of claims can get extremely complicated, especially as you may be trying to recover from your surgery. That’s why you need an experienced lawyer on your side to help you get the compensation that you deserve. With the right legal assistance, you can avoid any pitfalls and recover knowing that your case is in safe hands.
However, you may be feeling a little concerned that you do not know enough about clinical negligence to make a claim. So, before you dive into conversations with your solicitor about how you have been affected by clinical negligence, this blog will tell you exactly what you need to know about making a claim. Don’t forget to look at our medical misdiagnosis claims page for more information:
The Three Types of Clinical Misdiagnosis
If you are making a claim for clinical negligence, and it is relation to a misdiagnosis, there are three categories that it can come under; missed misdiagnosis, wrongful misdiagnosis and delayed misdiagnosis. Each of these claims can prove your medical practitioner was liable for misdiagnosing your illness or even making it worse. Here is what each of these different forms of negligence mean:
If you have become a victim to any of these forms of clinical negligence, it is likely that you have suffered quite a lot of damage to your body, health and overall quality of life. The longer it takes to diagnose your illness, the more likely that you will experience:
- Worse symptoms
- Problems due to the lack of appropriate medication
- Side effects of inappropriate medication
- Bodily discomfort and fragility
- Limited resources for better treatment
- A loss of money in buying pain medication
- Embarrassment or self-consciousness
This is why it is crucial that you note down all of your symptoms and potential losses. These will eventually add up to the amount you should receive for your compensation claim.
How is my medical practitioner liable for clinical negligence?
One of the most important things that you need to know is that every misdiagnosis claim is different. Some may be more complicated than others as it depends on how much has already been misdiagnosed and how bad the after-effects of your diagnosis were.
Liability depends on who was actually “at fault” for the misdiagnosis. Usually, this responsibility will land on the practitioner. For instance, if you were misdiagnosed with migraines when in reality you had a rare form of cancer, it would be the doctor’s responsibility to make sure you get the appropriate treatment. However, if you are getting cosmetic surgery and:
- You signed a contract saying you are aware of the risks
- You have all of the risks, surgery, treatments and symptoms explained to you
- The misdiagnosis was made due to a legitimate mistake
It is likely that your doctor/ private or public health service will not be sued for compensation. This is because you were told everything that could potentially go wrong. You accepted the risks, therefore you understood what you were getting yourself involved in. However, if there was a genuine mistake involved in your diagnosis or surgery, it is likely that you will receive less compensation. The complication could not have been avoided, therefore you will only require compensation to assist in your recovery, rather than be focused on your losses.
How can I prove a medical misdiagnosis claim?
If you are a victim of clinical negligence, it is likely that you are looking for evidence that can prove your claim. These sort of claims are not as simple as work accident claims or RTA claims. You cannot just take photographic evidence of your practitioner making a mistake during your surgery or handing you the wrong medication. Instead, you need to focus on the previous communication you have had with your practitioner, as well as what sort of effect has happened to your body and health. If it has had a negative effect, it is likely that something has gone wrong during your treatment.
Now, a treatment may have gone wrong because of:
- An incorrect diagnosis from test results.
- A lack of experienced supervision.
- The negligence of the doctor.
- A lack of investigation of symptoms.
- The lack of expertise from the doctor.
However, there is a chance that things may have gone wrong just because you were unlucky. If you are going to prove that your doctor was to blame, then you will have to prove the following:
You can prove each of these three categories through your conversations you have had with your GP (aka. the lack of advice or instruction) and how your symptoms/injuries have got worse with medical treatment. Write down all of your potential losses. This will help you in the future when you figure out what exactly you want to claim for.
What sort of compensation can I claim for clinical negligence?
If you are going to claim compensation for a medical misdiagnosis claim, it’s important that you consider what sort of special damages you could collect, as well as general damages. General damages normally include the pain and injuries you have suffered due to your treatment. They are the most common things you can claim for. However, special damages tend to be costs that happened as a consequence of your injuries. For instance, you may have lost out on your wage because you had to go to hospital to be re-examined.
Other damages you could claim for may include:
- Your travel costs
- The cost of your treatment
- Additional medication and rehabilitation expenses
- Income losses
- Disabilities and pain caused by your treatment
- The reduction of life expectancy
Each of these claims can add to the total amount you receive in compensation. Make sure to write down your losses and the evidence to prove that you do deserve a pay-out for these claims. The more evidence you have, the more likely that you will have a higher-pay out. Just remember, every claims case is different as it depends on your injuries, how much you have suffered and what you are currently suffering. Your claim can also incorporate any potential losses of income during your recovery time. This sort of claim could actually go up to £500,000 if you have suffered from a very bad injury. Discuss your potential pay-out with your solicitor to ensure you have a rough estimate about how much you could actually receive.
Clinical Negligence Actions: Important Facts
Whether you choose to go to Citizen’s Advice about your claim or you enlist the help of a trained solicitor, it’s important to realize that these sort of claims can be extremely time consuming and expensive. You may have found your experience traumatic, however you cannot use a compensation claim to:
- Stop certain procedures in a hospital or at a medical practitioners
- Discipline your doctor or practitioner
- Get an apology for your injury
Clinical negligence cases are not based on emotion. You may feel hurt or upset about what has happened, however a legal case is solely about getting you the compensation that you need to recover. It is not about “he said-she said.” Keep this in mind for when your case goes to court.
How long do I have to make a clinical negligence claim?
Like most injury cases in the UK courts, there is a time limit for how long you can wait to make your claim. Usually, we would recommend waiting for at least 2 weeks before you meet with your solicitor. That way you can judge your injuries and know precisely what you want to claim for. You will have 3 years to make a claim, starting from the day you were injured. Make sure to give you and your solicitor enough time to go through your case and pick an appropriate court date.
Keep in mind that the longer you leave your claim, the longer it will take to actually claim your compensation. Due to Covid-19, there has been a backlog in the UK court system. That means that it is more likely that you will have to wait a few months to hear back about when you could go to court. This is why it is essential that you claim for your pay-out as quickly as possible.
How do I make a clinical negligence claim?
One of the first things you need to do is organize your evidence for your claim. If you are going for a higher pay-out, you will need more evidence to back up your compensation claims. Consider your losses carefully and write detailed notes about what could constitute as evidence. This could include communication with your practitioner or witness statements made by those who have seen your daily life, and how it has become harder thanks to your injuries.
You will then want to find a trained solicitor to help you go through the details of your case. Clinical negligence cases can be very complicated and can even be handled through a settlement before they go to court. That means you need to make sure that every detail of your case is checked over with a fine tooth comb. Your lawyer can do this and even represent you if your injuries make it too difficult for you to show up in court.
Gowing Law Solicitors can help you with your misdiagnosis claim
Gowing Law Solicitors are professional lawyers that are here to help you with your claim! We help people like you all over the UK get the money they deserve to help them recover from their injuries. We understand that this can be a scary time for you, especially during Covid-19. However, a pay-out from this type of compensation claim can really help you feel more secure as you get better. Let Gowing Law’s solicitors get on with the hard work of your claim whilst you relax.
We can offer you free advice on your claim. This can all be done remotely to help protect you from Covid-19 if you are feeling nervous about the pandemic. If you do decide to work with us, our services can be offered on a “no win-no fee” basis. That means you will not have to pay any fees if we do not win your case. So, what is the real risk of giving it a go? You have nothing to lose!
Contact Gowing Law Solicitors now by calling 0800 041 8350, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by using our chat feature located on our contact page. From there, one of our team members will get in contact with you as quickly as possible to discuss your claim. Feel free to share with them any questions you may have.
Want to read more?
Do you want to learn more about medical misdiagnosis claims and clinical negligence? You can do so from our blog! We keep it updated with the latest articles and information. We recommend starting with these blogs:
- Medical Misdiagnosis: How a mistake may change your life!
- Medical Negligence Questions
- Mis-Diagnosis: Broken Bones
We also talk about many other legal topics, including public accidents, accidents at work, RTA accidents and financial mis-selling. If you have a topic that you would like us to cover, please let our friendly team know! We would be happy to write about it. Send in your suggestions to email@example.com. You can also let us know whether or not you want to be signed up to our weekly newsletter.
We look forward to seeing you in our next blog!